Life

Independence Day 2020

Freedom is not free. What sacrifices are you willing to make?

What legacies are you passing on? What will your descendants say about you?

Please watch NPR’s YouTube video, Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Deliver His ‘Fourth of July’ Speech, and please, please share. Note: The actual speech is titled, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Here are my thoughts after watching the video:

I believe Frederick Douglass’ descendants reading his “Fourth of July” speech is just as powerful as the speech itself. It is up to us to continue the difficult conversations surrounding racial issues, even on Independence Day.

Honestly, I considered not sharing this video. I did not want to interrupt the happy celebrations. But are the celebrations truly joyous? Because after the fireworks, BBQs, SAFE social gatherings, and “Happy 4th of July” pictures and posts, racial inequality remains. I mean.. only a few days ago Mississippi finally removed its racially divisive flag— in 2020!! What year did the United States gain its independence? Umm..1776. What year was slavery abolished in the United States? Supposedly 1865. And what year is this, again? Hmm.. 2020 in the 21st century.

Y’all, we cannot continue to pretend everything is okay, because IT IS NOT. Change is happening NOW, and WE must keep up the momentum. We cannot sit back and wait for another great leader to come along and tell us what to do. They have already done that. They have already equipped us with everything we need. Now it is our time to follow through. Not tomorrow or next month, but NOW!

Who’s with me?!

P.S. Be sure to watch the commentary at the end of the video. POWERFUL‼️

‪#HappyFourthOfJuly‬

Shaun

Life

Up Thinking

I really need to be asleep. Have to be on the road in a few hours. Today we are honoring my great aunt, Aunt Deloris. She will be 75 next month. She told us that she wanted her roses while she was still here, and ain’t nothing wrong with that! So, today is her day. I cannot wait to see her. Wish I could love on her but with cases of COVID-19 steadily increasing, I will love her from afar. Being in her presence will be more than enough.

Anyway… I cannot seem to turn off my mind. Been thinking about events that have taken place over the past month. Especially events in Mississippi.

In June 2014, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964. I watched the documentary (click link attached to Freedom Summer 1964) a few days before my 41st birthday. Side note: Since the city of Hattiesburg had a significant role in the movement, the documentary was shown at The University of Southern Mississippi prior to being aired on television (which aired on my birthday- Woohoo!). After watching that documentary, my brain started working overtime. I had all kinds of ideas about doing a follow-up documentary about Mississippi, 50 years later. I had so many questions and was eager to find answers.

As I stated earlier, the events that have taken place over this past month reminds me of Freedom Summer 1964. However, this time the white people who are marching and volunteering along side Black Mississippians are actually Mississippi residents. Unlike Freedom Summer, they did not travel here from other states. Many were born here. Some are descendants of those who opposed change in the 60s. In the documentary, someone said, “Crack Mississippi and you crack the whole South.” Well . . .

Hopeful. Very hopeful. Change is here. Change is happening. Mississippi IS Thriving!

Anyhoo.. I need to go to sleep. My alarm goes off in less than two hours. I’ll probably hit the snooze several times before I actually get up. I am so excited about seeing everyone… from a distance, that is. Lol

By the way, I am way too sleepy to proof this. So forgive any errors.

Shaun